Until last year, I worked within the corporate part of the tech industry. My specialty was solving large complex problems through analysis, learning, strategic action and hard work.
Since leaving, I’ve mostly been focused on two things:
- How to turn skilled work into money without committing the majority of my life to bureaucracy and tedium.
- How the hell did we get here as a society?
I focused on number 2 first because I was scared for the future my daughters will inherit.
I started the traditional liberal method first, and yelled at his supporters for being racist idiots.
But being a problem solver, I noticed that didn’t work, and tried other approaches until I could find some way to make them understand. So I listened. And I tried to explain what they’re missing. And I listened some more.
Eventually I realized that I cannot change them, but I can change myself by hearing their very real issues, and using my own judgement and values on what the solution should be.
Obviously that’s not a new concept, but I’ve had a number of cases lately of common sayings suddenly taking on more depth.
After talking to Trump supporters, and occasionally other liberals that I think are missing big details, and listening to the ideas of smarter people throughout history, I’d like to share what I see.
Chipmunk on Buddha Statue
The dominant culture of the world is a heartless form of capitalism run by rich folks like Wilbur Ross, who can’t understand why someone who isn’t paid can’t afford food.
They’re convinced that if they divide the pie finely enough, they can each devour as much as possible and there will still be enough for all. They talk about the creation of wealth, but forget that wealth is used to purchase finite resources. The rich can always throw more money at the problem.
Plato believed that an aristocracy was the highest form of government, while an oligarchy was one of the lowest. The main difference between the two is the character and wisdom of those in charge.
In our system, which has little barriers to greed, the greedy proposer. In some cases, literal psychopaths are making decisions that impact your life.
They’re supported by small business capitalists who understands that capitalism with a heart can work, but refuse to see that what they believe in isn’t what’s in charge. Looking for an answer, only Trump is talking to them, and he told them that immigrants are the problem.
Socialists come in and blame capitalism, and threaten to end it. This triggers the strong “better dead than red” views of small business capitalists. Suddenly there’s confrontations between anti-fa (largely socialists and anarchists) and small business capitalists/Patriots.
The Patriots don’t understand that they’re defending a corporate/government alliance. Fascism.
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”
Giovanni Gentile — philosopher and co-writer with Mussolini.
Trump’s method of redirecting the disenfranchised poor against marginalized groups is straight out of Mussolini and Hitler’s playbooks.
Today’s Fascists don’t even realize they’re fascist in ideology, just because they deal in apathy instead of hate. If you view the country as a split between workers and takers, mine is the group that benefits from the system destroying so many lives.
It’s not directly racist, even though white people benefit most. It’s just a culture of justifications and greed that’ll take it all it can. Pre-existing biases of some of the people involved can add just enough bigotry to prevent other groups from being successful. We starve everyone indiscriminately. White people have a better chance of success, but for most of them it’s barely there.
We also have a habit of blaming people who fail to succeed in the system we control, while ignoring the roles that history, chance and bias play in an individuals success.
I see hope in concepts of Open Source Software and Creative Commons. Collaborations of makers, sharing their tools. Marxists may call it seizing the means of production. Libertarians may instead view it as capitalists contributing back to society. I view it as eliminating the bureaucratic waste at the top of industry, and eliminating their damaging influence on society as a whole.
Let’s look at someone like Jeff Bezos. Liberal, capitalist, rich as hell, and terrible to work for. Doesn’t pay people at the bottom sufficiently, and pays those at the top just enough to stick around for a few years.
We built the future on AWS and an advertising company that uses technology to build profiles of everyone in the world.
Elon Musk is on a mission to change the world for the better, but expects his employees to be just as committed to his vision while also laying people off in order to make Wall Street happy.
If we ignore left/right, then we see a pretty clear class issue, where the top 1% own the world with the support of the next few percent, many of whom are liberal.
Each of these ideologies can be viewed as cultures. It’s how they believe the world works, and most are unwilling to see that there is not only one way. decentralizing power can allow for all ways, and they can keep each other in check. Checks and balances, like a good government or stable ecosystem.
How can an online service making billions compete if a social collective decides to compete with them? Fabulous riches are overhead from the perspective of customers.
To me, Trump represents the worst of my culture. Trump is a parasite trying to masquerade as a tyrant. A tick telling a starving dog that there’s plenty out there to eat if you work hard like they did.
If “House of Trump, House of Putin” is truthful, he has been selling real estate to the Russian Mafia for decades. Laundering money siphoned out of the Russian government by corrupt officials and oligarchs.
If Fear by Bob Woodward is truthful, then Trump is incompetent, unable to understand more than one topic at a time, and unwilling to consider more than one level of complexity. His worst impulses are kept in check by treason around him by people who are supposed to support him.
Trump is a liar. He’s the sexually assaulting rapist who made his money through crime, racism, a made up TV persona and his daddy’s money. If he had given it to a good invester he could have done better financially, but instead he had to commit treason.
America elected a cartoon villain. A malignant monopoly man.
But he talked to them like they are people. And he listened to them and then told them what they wanted to hear. Because that’s what narcissists do. He even followed through with campaign promises that make absolutely no sense strategically.
But why weren’t we listening?
When a competent tyrant comes along, how long would it be before they seized the data of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google to leverage against the world? Subpoenas are easy to obtain when the judges are are your side. Many of them have been quick to volunteer their help anyways.
I’m doubling down with the group introducing real change through collaboration and decentralized power structures. Linus Torvalds dominated the computing industry with his leadership and collaborators, which the Free Software Foundation set the groundwork for.
Creative Commons gives small business a way to get started without having to have a large initial capital investment, through the availability of knowledge and art.
Many small tech companies provide free services to help small companies bootstrap, and then convert them to reasonably charged services.
We have the tools to decentralize, but that doesn’t pay as well. Facebook could be replaced by peer to peer social networks that already exist, but could use some help. I’m planning on investing in improving clients for the Diaspora* and Friendica networks, and I’m working on free hosting *without* privacy invasion.
Rather than trying to corner the market, I would like to collaborate with other like minded techs around the world to provide local capacity and know-how. I will show you how, and you provide service to your community.
I would like to focus on giving other small business a chance to grow by leveraging Open Source services as well as services run by like minded small companies that I can direct business to.
And I would like your help.